TB Sanatorium projects hang fire

The nonchalance attitude of state health authorities has delayed the projects of TB Sanatorium Dharmapur, near here. The projects were either lying incomplete or failed to take start for want of funds. The fate of state’s first TB Training, Research and Demonstration Centre (STDC) was hanging fire due to funds crunch. The state TB authorities have refused to allocate more funds for the setting up of required infrastructure for training centre. Rs 18-lakh budget was earmarked for the setting up of infrastructure for training centre that included conversion of the female patient ward into hostel and a lecture hall. However nothing concrete have taken place so far expect the halfway conversion of female ward to hostel.

A culture lab the first of its kind in state was planned to set up in sanatorium. It would house requisite infrastructure to demarcate the multi-drug resistance (MDR) cases from the normal TB patients. The lab needed equipments worth Rs. 30 lakh. The Deputy Director General Central TB Division, New Delhi along with other senior officials had visited the sanatorium twice for lab purpose.

The equipments were to be arranged by the central TB division. But till now no equipment has been received. Hence the lab was lying non-operational. The lab could be a boon for MDR TB cases. The MDR was an advanced stage of TB where patients require multi-drugs treatment being prescribed through culture tests diagnosis. The lack of lab was a negative point of the sanatorium, as patients had to wait for long to get report of a culture test, available at very high cost, from New Delhi.

The sanatorium was a central point for patients from all over North India particularly from hilly remote areas. Often the long delay in getting diagnosis report proved fatal for patients.

The OPD building housing administrative section, x-ray room and dispensary was dismantled one year back to set up new building. Rs. 15-lakh was sanctioned to dismantle the entire building besides Rs. 25 lakh for new construction. The PWD was supposed to carry out the work. Till date the work has failed to take off due to departments’ bottlenecks. The helpless staff has no other option than to operate from the limited space available in ward no 6 that actually meant for MDR patients.

The sanatorium was set up by the British in 1913 after a local landlord Pandit Dev Dutt donated 50 bighas of land. On many occasions, the demarcation of land had taken place but no efforts were made to fence the sanatorium land in order to protect it from encroachment. A sum of over Rs. 3.50 lakh is required for fencing. Due to the lack of fencing, the TB patients have free access to market area that causes problem for locals.

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